There’s a story that was told of a great number of sick people in the book of John 5… some blind and some paralyzed who waited at a pool for when an angel would come at a particular time of the day to stir the waters. Everyone who stepped in after the stirring of the water was healed from their disease. There was a man who was at the pool for thirty-eight years and everyone knew his inability to walk. When Jesus saw him there and knew of his condition and asked him, “Do you want to get well?” He responded, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” This man wasn’t visually impaired …he was physically challenged for 38 years. Even the visually impaired people somehow found themselves in the pool … it takes determination to change your status. This physically challenged man for 38 years was seeing miracle after miracle but wasn’t motivated to get in … he just made excuses after excuses for 38 years – “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” This seems to be the same excuse given by adults who have NEVER been successful in holding down a job … “Sir, I have no one to help me, and while I’m going other people step in before me.” We all have heard these excuses too many times from sluggards. Maybe, those who took a risk and jumped in, or rolled in, or dragged themselves into the pool … desperately wanted a life change. Wasn’t it the same time every day that the angel stirred the waters? Absolutely! I am imagining that the pool must have been overcrowded at the end of the last stirring every day as the sick waited for the next stirring with great expectations.
Friends, Proverbs 6: 6-11 says, “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise. It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in Summer and gathers its food at Harvest. How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.” “Sluggard” … the BIBLE calls someone who is lazy and waiting for someone to bring home the bacon or to loan them money with no intention of paying it back … a SLUGGARD.
The sluggards in our society are those who watch things happen, wonder what happen, and have no clue what’s all the fuss about. This one paralyzed man was at the right place at the right time for thirty-eight years, and all he did was make Excuses! Excuses! Excuses! An ant is wiser than a lazy human being. The ant has NO COMMANDER, NO BOSS, yet it stores up food in the Summer and gathers its food in the Winter. I’m appalled and livid at the mindset of a sluggard.
“What does it mean that the one who is unwilling to work shall not eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10)?”
Second Thessalonians 3:10 reads, “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: ‘The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.’” This verse is set in the context of 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15 which warns believers against idleness and laziness. The focus of the command is against those who refuse to work rather than those who are unable to do so. The verses preceding the instruction to those unwilling to work relate a positive example: “You ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate” ( Thessalonians 3:7-9). Paul and his companions did not come to the people of Thessalonica to take food or money from them but to share Christ with them. They were willing to work a side job to provide for their food.
In contrast, if any Christian worker came to a church and refused to work, Paul says not to offer him food. This instruction also had application to people within their congregation. Verses 11–12 note, “We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat.” This is the Christians work ethic . Believers are to be known for working hard, not for a lazy attitude.
Scripture often addresses sloth or laziness as sin. For example, Proverbs 18:9 says, “One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys.” Proverbs 19:15 adds, “Laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless go hungry”—there is a clear link between not working and not eating in this proverb. Ecclesiastes 10:18 also notes the negative consequences of laziness: “Through laziness, the rafters sag; because of idle hands, the house leaks.”
Again, the admonition that “the one who is unwilling to work shall not eat” concerns unwillingness rather than inability. There is a difference. James 1:27 describes true religion, in part, as “looking after orphans and widows in their distress.” Needy children and widows, the disabled, those with special needs, the elderly, and others who cannot earn a living are deserving of much help. As believers, it is important that we be known for our strong work ethic and helping those in true need. We should “let our light shine before others, that they may see our good deeds and glorify our Father in heaven (Mathew 5:16).
If anyone is not willing to work, they should not eat. Lazy people are a disgrace to themselves, their families, and society. Lazy people are just mere talkers. They are known for all the smooth words to impress others that they are on the go … but their train remains stationed for all of their adult years. It is a SHAME! Lazy people ride the same train as the crowd of hustlers who commute back and forth … some to their dream jobs and others to jobs that they hate … yet, the lazy ones remain unperturbed by the noise and chatter around them. They select their destination at the infamous stops – ‘Busybodies in other people’s business’ or ‘Sleeping all day and falling asleep in the wee hours of the mornings.’ They are sluggards who just have not master the art of being disciplined. They say, “There’s a lion in the road, a fierce lion roaming the street.” (Proverbs 26:13) Meaning – they will be killed if they go out … When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest ….AND POVERTY WILL come like a THIEF and SCARCITY like an armed man. Proverbs 12:11 says, “Those who work their land will have plenty to eat, but those who engage in empty pursuits have no sense.”
A hardworking person will work for kings and never for mean people. It’s a choice/decision to give up freedom and work as a slave, for one day you will rule the kingdom. May God give us the wisdom to stay motivated and inspire others by our ‘wins’ … but never to give someone something that they can get up and give themselves.